Koester Works as a Resident Assistant

Sam Koester (Senior, Agricultural Economics; Wadesville, IN) has been enjoying his senior year as a Resident Assistant (RA) in the Purdue University Residence Halls!  He started the application process during the fall of his junior year with an essay application and then an interview. Only about half of the interviewees are selected for the RA class and then there is a final selection round once students complete the RA class.  Last year, only one of every six applicants received an RA position.

As an RA, he is to be a resource for his residents. Koester stated, “ I am there to help them with any problems they may have and to refer them to help if they need it.  I am also responsible for the well-being of my 39 residents.  I am there to ensure that they are not doing anything dangerous or illegal in the residence halls.  It is also my responsibility to build a strong community on my floor by doing social programs with the residents.”

Koester became an RA because he created a strong friendship with his RA who suggested he apply.  After noticing few RA’s were from the College of Agriculture, Koester decided to apply, “I wanted to represent the College of Agriculture because it was sorely under represented among RAs.  I also saw this as an opportunity to educate residents from various backgrounds about agriculture.  Lastly, I saw the RA job as a great way to support myself and help pay for school.”

As he thinks about the last seven months Koester reflects, “As an RA, I have learned a lot about working with people from widely varying backgrounds.  Out of the 39 residents on my floor, on two of them are in the College of Agriculture.  This has stretched me communicating with people with very different values and beliefs.  I have had to deal with some residents not complying to rules of the building. This has stretched my leadership skills in the fact that I have had to discipline some residents for their behavior. “

Koester concludes that the experience has been very rewarding, “The relationship I have with my residents is very similar to the one a brother would have with his younger siblings.  There is a very satisfying feeling that comes with helping residents and being there for them when they are dealing with issues.  Next year two of my residents are going to be RA which makes me really proud.”


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